The use of Telehealth soared during the early days of the pandemic, but still remains strong years into the coronavirus pandemic.  Prior to this crisis, most health care plans covered Telehealth, but very few patients used it.  Social distancing to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 led many health care providers to start delivering more services remotely.  Medicare suspended restrictions on which telehealth services it covered, the geographic location of the beneficiary and whether the visit had to originate in a health care facility.  This further fueled the use of Telehealth by seniors.  A new study used data from Cosmos, a HIPAA-defined Limited Data Set of more than 126 million patients from 156 organizations including data from 889 hospital and 19,420 clinics from 50 states. It found that Telehealth use soared from less than 1% before the pandemic to 13% of outpatient visits in the first 6 months of the pandemic, then declined to 11% during the next 6 month period and was down to 8% in the latest period measured (March-August of 2021).  Still, 8% is a pretty high number and it’s nice seniors still have this option under the current Medicare system.

Recommended Posts